Email Should Make Us More Productive, Not Less Interactive

I’m probably a rare Web/techie type. I don’t necessarily care about bigger, better, fancier Web sites. I want a simple site that acts as I expect it would without too many bells and whistles. After all, the Web is about quick information right? Get in, find what I need, get back out. Sure sometimes I can browse aimlessly on the Internet. Other times I’d rather not be attached to my computer screen.

I attack my email in the same manner: quickly. In fact, I tend to check my personal account only once or twice a week. (Did you just gasp?) Email is helpful for business. Not all business, but some business. It’s also useful for quick replies to family and friends. If I want to contact someone, though, email is not always my first thought. I’ll pick up the phone, maybe send a postcard. (For those born in the 1990s, a postcard is a paper rectangle with a picture on one side and blank on the other. You handwrite a note, address it, stamp it, and drop it in the real mail.)

U.S. Cellular’s Vice President, Jay Ellison, must feel the same way about our “advancements.” Last year, he instituted a policy whereby email between officemates is not allowed on Fridays. The alternative? Face-to-face discussions and phone calls. Employees are also encouraged to pick up the phone to contact clients on Fridays, rather than send email. Phone calls, even short ones, are more personal. (See Companies limit e-mail use to boost productivity for more on U.S. Cellular’s initiative.)

Technology has certainly made a lot of tasks in our daily lives easier. It’s also become a bit of an obsession to some. Yes, I fit this category sometimes, too. Particularly when faced with a new project.

The thing is, I’m interested in how technology can better my life, not become my life. I am all for simplifying. If that means sending an email, so be it. If email is complicating my to do list, then it’s not useful.


1 Comment

  1. Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    […] Email should make us more productive, not less interactive […]

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